YDA Board

Youth Development Australia is the auspice of the NYCA. It is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which has been operating since 2005. The purpose of YDA is to be a ‘platform for change’ for young people in Australia.


Youth Development Australia board members include: Prof. David Mackenzie, Assoc. Prof Tim Corney, Dr. May Lam, Mr. Keith Waters (EO), Prof. Adam Steen and Dr. Michael Coffey.

Prof. David Mackenzie of the Youth Development Australia Board

Professor David Mackenzie


David Mackenzie is an Associate Professor at the University of South Australia and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Swinburne University. David has a strong record of research and development on youth issues and youth policy and is internationally recognised for his work on homelessness and youth. He is the author and co-author of a number of significant reports on Youth Homelessness. David was the original founder of Youth Development Australia and he is the current Chair of the YDA Board. Over the past 10 years, David has served on a number of government advisory committees and taskforces – the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Homelessness, the National SAAP Data and Research Advisory Committee, the National SAAP Information Services Committee, the JPET Needs Committee and the Victorian Integrated Data Project Committee. David was one of the NYC Commissioners in 2007/08. David is one of Australia’s leading researchers on homelessness and disadvantage.

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Associate Professor Tim Corney


Dr Tim Corney, Ph.D. is currently Associate Professor in the College of Education at Victoria University and Head of Educational Research in the Institute of Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities. He was for many years the executive manager of the Incolink Foundation. In this role, Tim had responsibility for developing the strategic direction of the Foundation and overseeing the implementation of projects, such as youth suicide prevention, life skills, youth mental health and wellbeing, alcohol and other drug education, and financial awareness for young working people. Tim has been active in the youth sector for some 30 years and taught youth workers at RMIT, ACU and VU. He was formerly the Dean of Queens College, and remains a Senior Fellow of the Graduate School of Education and the Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne.

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Dr May Lam


Dr May Lam holds a Strategic Projects position with Jesuit Social Services. She has worked for the past 35 years in the youth sector as well as the education, employment and community sectors on policy, research and strategy for employment and social inclusion programs. This included 14 years at the peak body Jobs Australia, where she was Policy Manager and Deputy CEO. Other roles were at the National Employment Services Association, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Social Traders and in the UK, Ingeus and the Department of Work and Pensions. These roles have typically focused on research with a practical outcome for policy, program design, procurement and social impact measurement. May served as Chair at Writers Victoria from 2013-2016.

Executive Officer for the NYC Keith Waters

Mr Keith Waters (EO)

Executive Officer

Keith Waters has worked in the not for profit sector for over 30 years. He has held Executive positions with Anglicare in NSW and the ACT as well as the Salvation Army in Melbourne, Victoria. He has experience across a wide range of areas including youth, drug and alcohol, housing and homelessness, crisis services, OoHC and child protection, domestic violence, prisons and courts, disability services, child care, aged care, primary health care and juvenile justice


In addition to being a leading NGO Executive, he has pioneered numerous innovative programs for disadvantaged young people over the past 20 years and has been the author and co-author of a number of landmark reports which have impacted youth policy. He is currently the Executive Officer of both YDA and the National Youth Commission into Youth Employment and Transitions. Keith has post graduate qualifications in Innovation, Service Management and Business Administration.

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Professor Adam Steen


Adam Steen is a Professor of Practice at the Deakin University in Victoria and Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide. He has undertaken consultancy assignments for bodies such as the Commonwealth Government, World Bank, Government of Indonesia and other local and global organisations. After experience at a number of leading Australian and International Business Schools and the World Bank, Adam has served as a senior academic providing leadership in teaching, research and administration. His research has been published in leading international journals and is interdisciplinary in nature, applying Accounting and Finance-based methodologies to questions and issues in diverse areas including Corporate Governance, International Business, Tourism, Human Resource Management, Unemployment and Homelessness. He is head of the Academic Community of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Fellow of CPA Australia. Adam has strong links with the business community in Australia but also a deep interest in issues of disadvantaged and what can be done to overcome disadvantage.

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Dr Michael Coffey


Michael Coffey is the Senior Manager Strategic Directions and Planning at Catholic Care (Diocese of Broken Bay). Prior to taking up this position he was the Chief Executive Officer at YFoundations for 15 years. He began work with YFoundations in 1988, and over 30 years has positioned himself as a leading national voice on the issue of youth homelessness. Michael holds a doctorate from the University of Technology, Sydney. Under Michael’s leadership, YFoundations developed into a great force promoting discussion and action on the issue of youth homelessness within New South Wales and Australia.